Nuclear Cooperation: India, Argentina to work in third countries through tripartite agreement

Taking a cue from the successful execution of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant under a tripartite agreement with Russia and Bangladesh, India has inked a Memorandum of Understanding with Argentina to give fillip to execute projects in third country through tripartite agreements.

The MoU was signed during the visit of Argentinian President Mauricio Macri to India earlier this week. Argentinian Minister for Foreign Affairs Jorge Faurie, who was also part of the entourage said that his country has expertise in building small-capacity reactors and was looking to work with India in some third country in tripartite projects.

“They (Prime Minister Narendra and Argentine President Mauricio Macri) also noted that the MoU signed on the occasion between the Department of Atomic Energy, India and National Atomic Energy Commission, Argentina for cooperation within the framework of Global Center for Nuclear Energy Partnership would bolster institutional linkages in civil nuclear research, development and capacity building,” a joint statement issued after the bilateral talks read.

The Argentinian President held talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the two sides wished to explore avenues of cooperation in non-power use of nuclear technology like in the areas of health, agriculture, industrial application, training and capacity building.

India and Argentina had signed an agreement in 2010 for cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Argentine company INVAP is working on the Fission Molly Project to build a molybdenum plant in Mumbai. The plant focuses on creating isotopes. Argentina also manufactures some components used in Indian nuclear reactors.

India’s attempt to enter the 48-member elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) have been constantly stymied by China. The NSG is a multilateral export control regime that prevents nuclear proliferation by regulating the export of materials, equipment and technology that can be used to manufacture nuclear weapons. Hence, India took part in its first nuclear power project on a foreign soil (in Bangladesh) under a tripartite agreement. This has served as the template agreement for cooperation with other countries in the field of peaceful use of nuclear technology.